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5 minutes with Californian jewellery designer: Alexander Jewell

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As a conservationist and a huge nature lover, Frank Alexander Jewell designs jewellery that captures the beauty, delicacy and intricacy of nature. Utilising his innate artistic talent, Frank started designing at a young age and creating fine jewellery is a passion that he’s enjoyed for over thirty years. His free-flowing and organic designs are all meticulously handcrafted from 18kt gold or platinum, using a range of traditional techniques.

 

A lifelong passion for wildlife led Frank to collaborate with WildAid, creating an endangered species line of jewellery that benefits the organisation’s efforts to end the trade in wildlife products. Frank chats to us about why the back of his designs are just as beautiful as the front, the importance of using traditional techniques and riding his Harley Davidson after a long day.

 

 

How did Alexander Jewell begin? 

“My brand began when I was 18 and I took my first job in a small manufacturing shop in New York's jewellery district. Over time, my creativity and technical expertise led me to the luxury jewellery market - making pieces for designers and my own private clients. Alexander Jewell reflects 35 dedicated years of craftsmanship.”

 

"Alexander Jewell reflects 35 dedicated years of craftsmanship."

 

What inspires your designs?

“Nature and classical architecture are the inspiration for my organic and free-flowing designs. I’m also inspired by Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.”

How is your jewellery made?

“I handcraft my jewellery using traditional techniques. Every piece is carved in wax - no CAD or 3D printing - then cast in 18kt gold or platinum. My clasps and grill work are all handmade, ensuring that the back of the piece is just as beautiful as the front.”

 

"My clasps and grill work are all handmade, ensuring that the back of the piece is just as beautiful as the front."

 

If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be?

“It would be the Dragon Tail Ring, one of my earliest creations. This ring captures the essence of a dragon tail and is a beautiful example of bringing to life the detail in my original wax carving.”

 

 

 

How do you want someone to feel when they wear an Alexander Jewell design?

“Luxurious! They are wearing a handcrafted piece of haute couture jewellery. For bespoke commissions, I hope my clients to feel that I’ve perfectly captured their style, which often means taking them outside the box of their original design concept.”

 

If you weren’t designing jewellery, what would you be doing?

“I'd be a chef. From the age of eight years old I've enjoyed cooking. It's another way I can be creative.”

 

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Do you work with any charities?

“A lifelong passion for wildlife led to a partnership with global conservation organisation, WildAid. My Serengeti Bracelet raised $44,000 at their 2015 gala. Following that event, I created an Endangered Species line of fine jewellery to benefit WildAid.”

 

"A lifelong passion for wildlife led to a partnership with global conservation organisation, WildAid."

 

Tell us about your favourite bespoke commission…

“My favourite bespoke commission was an Art Deco-inspired ring created around my client's Burmese sapphire. The design developed as I carved the wax and resulted in a beautiful ring with four unique views from different perspectives. I loved the way the design evolved naturally and so did my client!”

 

 

 

"My father told me to always do everything to the best of my ability, no matter how mundane or lofty."

 

Where is your go-to meeting spot?

“The great outdoors. I find peace and inspiration in the mountains and by the ocean.”

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“My father told me to always do everything to the best of my ability, no matter how mundane or lofty. That advice helped me become the artisan jeweller and perfectionist I am today.”

 

If you could travel to one place in the world right now, where would it be?

“Africa. I would love to see the wildlife and nature that inspired my WildAid Endangered Species line and other nature pieces.”

 

How do you wind down after a long day?

“I take a ride on my Harley-Davidson, cook a gourmet meal and have a nice glass of wine!”

 

Shop Alexander Jewell on JewelStreet

 

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